Arizona vs Cal (9/24/22): Odds, Picks, Predictions
Arizona visits Cal after escaping a hard fought, home win against North Dakota State, while Cal just barely lost to Notre Dame, after a missed Hail Mary in South Bend. Whenever these teams play it always seems to come down to the last possession, so this should be another dynamic matchup. Let’s check out the odds, and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Arizona vs. Cal Odds
Cal comes into this game as a 3-point favorite and at -165 on the moneyline. The over/under sits at 48.5, which makes sense because while Cal’s offense has been inconsistent, the defense has been very stout. Arizona’s offense has been a bright spot so far this year, but the Golden Bears defense could definitely cause issues for them, so the number here makes sense. Something to keep an eye is how much this line moves throughout the week. It started at 5.5, got up to 6, and is now down 3, so be mindful of that if you decide to bet some money here.
Arizona vs. Cal Prediction & Pick
I love Arizona in this spot. They are going to be ready for conference play, after winning this past week against North Dakota State in a back-and-forth game. This Arizona team is not what it was last year, and the Wildcats are better for it. Specifically, the offense is night and day different.
Jayden de Laura has been very good for Arizona so far at quarterback, but the difference makers for this team are at receiver, mainly, Jacob Cowing and Tetairoa McMillan, who seem to be matchup nightmares for any team that plays the Wildcats. On the other side, Cal is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame where they had a Hail Mary slip through two receivers’ hands.
Cal has also had a hard time this year on offense, and they have only hit 30 points in one game so far and that was against an FCS opponent. The Arizona defense isn’t full of world beaters, but they could also cause a lot of issues for a Cal offense that has had its fair share of issues. The biggest things that Cal has going for it is that it’s a home game for them, and that their defense is very stellar. They could just as easily stop this Arizona offense in it’s tracks just because they are talented, but also very well-coached. However, this seems like an easier pick because I don’t know how you can rely on the Cal offense, so take the Wildcats to cover, and I would also say take them on the moneyline too.
Arizona vs. Cal Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Arizona vs Cal below.
Jack Plummer vs the Arizona Passing Defense
Jack Plummer needs to step up for Cal, in order for them to have a chance in this game. The Cal offense as a whole needs to step up, but Plummer is the quarterback, so it starts with him. Plummer’s stats this year are decent, by passing for 730 yards so far, throwing five touchdowns to only two interceptions, and also having a completion percentage of 60%.
The Cal offense has been inconsistent at best though and needs more of a jumpstart. Arizona has really only faced one quarterback this year that has challenged them vertically through the air in Will Rogers, and he threw for over 300 yards and also four touchdowns.
This Arizona defense overall has improved, but it can still be beat whether it’s through the air or through the ground. This matchup is key to what happens in this game because if Plummer can get it going then Cal will be a very difficult team to beat or if the Arizona defense can shut Plummer down then the Wildcats have a chance to run away with this game potentially.